Pop music is seen as disposable because as a format it’s straightforward; a verse chorus verse with a bridge to tie it all together. However that peanut buttery stuff that stick to your head is unbelievably tough to write. For every big pop hit there is a caravan’s worth of songwriters/musicians/producers continually honing down music that is pleasing to the ear, memorable, and infectious.
The Australian band ‘Alpine’ is of the indie pop variety and they make that whole process look easy. The secret of the band is the co-front women Lou James and Lindsey Baker, who wield their voices like efficient assassins. The way they attack their vocal duties echoes that of the rest of the band; very simple but effective ideas meticulously placed to work with each other.
Take a song like Villages. Built off a jangly 4-note guitar riff, it starts off stark with a simple drumbeat and a female voice. Then the keyboard begins to play, a female voice sings in the background, and once the chorus hits an avalanche of melodic bliss arrives with all the pieces locking in.
The album is built off sounds layered on top of each other to form gigantic wholes. The band also has a knack for dynamics that keeps things sounding fresh. The song Softsides begins as a simple ballad with handclaps but by we reach the apex of the song there’s a post punk guitar riff with a voice confidently yelling, “This Is Forever!” Considering how confident and solid this debut album is that might not be an empty boast.